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On Track With Purpose

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On track with purpose. #OnTrack #OnTrackWithPurpose

The best way to stay on track with purpose is to set goals and work them daily.

I’m fairly good with discipline, focus and staying on task. Yet a recent foray into a distraction reminded me of the value in setting and tracking goals. When I don’t, there’s a much greater inclination to drift off purpose.

Publishing articles on websites is a multi-layered process. First, how will they be found on Google? If you want your articles to ever be found, there are a number of things to do to help that process along. Like authoring a book, it’s not as simple as just writing it and then you’re done. 

Writing is just the first half of it. Or, in the case of publishing articles on websites, the writing is the second part. The first begins with identifying if anyone is searching the subject you plan to write about. Next, you identify how to title and position your article around that subject so that it can be found.

Meandering Mind

Recently, in the middle of thinking about the next task for an article I was working on for our gardening website,, an email notification popped up. Before thinking, my reflex was to click on the notification to delete the email. I could see it was from Quora and I didn’t want to keep it.

Instead of clicking on the “delete” in the popup notification, I accidentally clicked on the notification itself which then opened that email. The Subject line immediately grabbed my attention, because, you know, they’re designed to do that. They must for survival.

How did Ringo Starr find out about the affair between George Harrison and Maureen Sta…?

In that moment, I wondered the answer to something I’d never even known about let alone thought about before now. Yet… that dangling curiosity taunt ALMOST got me to click on it. I have on occasion when something intriguing pops in. But this time I simply deleted the email.  

A few times lost in the nether regions of nothingness is enough to want to opt out of such time sucks. To derail into taking the click-bait that sends me through multiple pages just to satisfy the curiosity to something I didn’t even know I wanted to know moments before, is an empty, non-rewarding pursuit. 

Such disorienting forays into mindless curiosity have no purpose in my day and leave me feeling misled, behind and off track with purpose. So I made a commitment to which I reorient multiple times daily to stay on track with purpose.

When you develop the habit of being on track in the day, you automatically secure a purposeful life.

“The habit of a purposeful day creates a purposeful life.”
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator®

Staying On Track With Purpose in Life

To help stay on track with purpose, I ask two questions before engaging with something.

Two Questions to Stay On Track

  1. Is this on track with my goal/s for today? 
  2. Is this important enough to take me away from purpose?

When the answer to both is “No”, then I don’t do it and usually delete it. If it is something that needs reading or attending at another time, I keep it, may even flag it for follow up, and then I get back to the work at hand based on my goal for the day, which is based on the goal/s for the week, which is of course based on my goal/s for the month and beyond.

If you struggle with setting longer term goals, (it can be hard at first), then start with daily goals.

Off Is Even Better

Even better than deciding based on those two questions is to keep the email and notifications OFF. Now that’s the norm. Rarely do I need to keep my email open and notifications on all day. Handling email to be processed at one or two times in the day is sufficient.

We don’t need to stay tethered to notifications under the circumstances of waiting for something that might be important. 

Decision Fatigue

Turning off notifications and keeping interruptive apps off during your optimal productive focus time alleviates the need to decide. You’ve probably heard the research on “decision fatigue”..?  It’s a real thing. It’s proven that the more decisions we make throughout the day the more tired we get from it. The more tired the less capable of making the best decisions for our optimal growth.

In the book, Personality Isn’t Permanent, Benjamin Hardy addresses the wisdom in Benjamin Franklin’s saying of “Early to bed, early to rise makes a [wo]man healthy, wealthy and wise.” 

Decision fatigue is accompanied by diminished will power, which makes us more vulnerable to succumbing to habits that do not serve us when we stay up late.

Now, if you’re a night owl bristling at the mention of this that may not apply to you. However, there are studies that show a correlation between staying up late and negativity along with other issues. So at least consider whether there’s any merit in this for you. 

Your Promise to Yourself

Committing to your goals helps to make such decisions easy. When you’re committed to achieving your goals, you gain clarity and decisions come easier and progress more definite.

A goal is created from your dreams and aspirations. Each day on track brings you closer to fulfillment. Fulfilling your goals is the foundation of a fulfilling purpose filled life.

The more progress you make with your goals the easier it gets to let go of that which hinders your efforts to stay on track with purpose. 

A goal is a commitment to yourself and a promise you’ll want to keep. 
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder –®

Goals And Purpose

Your goal for the day becomes your purpose in each moment, which is created from your goals for the week and ultimately, your life.

“Just in Case”

Opening that email that pops in “just in case”, because “it might be important”, is rarely aligned with purpose.

Most of us, most of the time, keep our email and other notifications on “just in case”. What that’s really saying is that it’s okay if just about anything drops in to pull me off track. Yet rarely is there anything urgent enough to justify that. It’s worth pondering to become aware of how this tendency may be derailing your progress.

I will drop everything for a friend or family member in need. Beyond that, the truth is that there is rarely anything urgent enough to allow it to take me off course from purpose. 

I’m betting it’s the same for you. 

In which case this may be a concept you wish to adopt as well, especially if you’re frustrated about not being as productive as you’d like to be.

“Just In case” is not your ally when it comes to checking notifications and news feeds that distract you from purpose.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator®

Window Shopping

Notifications, ‘just in case”, is a lot like window shopping. We’ve probably all done this favorite American pastime of going to the mall (when that was a ‘thing’), for nothing in particular. 

Before Covid-19 we saw it all the time: families strollers and all, at the mall for a family outing. Sometimes on a mission, but often not there for anything in particular, waiting for something to jump out at us that we might want. We’ve probably all done that many, times over. Yet if we REALLY examine it objectively, it’s sort of silly isn’t it? 

Nowadays it may be virtual window shopping by browsing Amazon or catalogs, all designed to proffer other options to entice you along the way.

Window shopping is a desire waiting to happen. 

The sales clerk asks us if they can help us and we reply with, “I’m just looking.” Translated as “I don’t know what I want but if something grabs my interest I may get it.” “I’m here waiting to find something to want.”

It’s strolling through a space filled with desires floating all around us waiting to be picked up and wanted. It’s as often not a purposeful shopping trip with something specific in mind. Same with responding to all the email and social notifications, or scrolling through Netflix and such.

Recreation for R and R is important, but too much diversion dulls the mind rather than give it a rest. Seeking balance is an ongoing pursuit and steady reorienting to purpose.

Your goal for the day becomes your purpose in each moment, which is created from your goals for the week and ultimately, your life.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator®

The Psychology Of Attention

Copywriters who create those fish hook subject lines are trained in human psychology. Our hunter-gatherer ancestor genes, like our dogs of today, are wired to jump up and run to see what the noise is because survival may depend on it.

So copywriters and marketers use that psychology to grab our attention. Not all of it is designed to get us to click through to celebrity gossip or to buy something we don’t need. For any of us trying to sell anything in today’s crowded bazaar, it does require somehow grabbing attention and shouldering in edgewise amidst the clamoring crowds.

Marketers and tabloids are trained to tap into the ancient instinct that causes us to “want to see and know”. 

It’s up to us to redirect that instinct into focus based on our goals. The more we do that the more purposeful our life and the happier we become, for being on track with our aspirations always feel right and good. 

Redirecting Curiosity

This afternoon while processing email, when the Quora Top Stories summary email came in with the subject line: Will Prince William and Kate Middleton have a fourth child? A fast delete was an easy decision. As lovely and interesting as they may be, there’s nothing about the royal family that is in any way connected with my purpose of the day, the moment or my life. 

While I may not win Trivial Pursuit or a quiz on celebrity gossip — in fact, I’m sure to lose — I am engaged and involved with those things which directly affect my life, work, and loved ones. In that way I protect my focus on purpose.

To stay on track with your life, begins by staying on track with your day. To stay on track with your day begins in the moment. This moment. And then the next, one moment, one day at a time.

I also unsubscribed from Quora altogether. When there’s something I need, rather than waiting for my attention to be snagged, as surely it will in today’s amped up world, I will choose what I need or want to know that’s on track with purpose, and actively pursue that when, as and where it is relevant. 

Take command of your day and your life will follow suit. Being on track with your aspirations always feels right and good.
~LeAura Alderson,®

Take command of your day and your life will follow suit. #OnTrack #Purpose #OnTrackWithPurpose #Purpose #Goals #iCreateDaily #Goals #GoalsJournals

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